1 hr 13 min

A CIA Psychologist on the Minds of World Leaders, Pt. 1 with Dr. Ursula Wilder SpyCast

    • History

Summary
Dr. Ursula Wilder (LinkedIn) joins Andrew (X; LinkedIn) to discuss the intersections between psychology and intelligence. Ursula is a clinical psychologist with over two decades of experience working at the Central Intelligence Agency. 

What You’ll Learn
Intelligence

How psychology can be useful to national security

Historical examples of leadership analysis 

Leadership personality assessments & the Cuban Missile Crisis

Psychoanalytic theory and espionage 

Reflections

Human nature throughout history

History repeating itself 

And much, much more …

Quotes of the Week
“Together, these documents are quite powerful. The psych assessments are very, very carefully, tightly held and are classified at a high level. Every intelligence officer has this fantasy about seeing the file that's kept on them by the opponents.”

Resources 
SURFACE SKIM
*SpyCasts*


Agent of Betrayal, FBI Spy Robert Hanssen with CBS’ Major Garrett and Friends (2023)


The North Korean Defector with Former DPRK Agent Kim, Hyun Woo (2023)


SPY@20 – “The Spy of the Century” with Curators Alexis and Andrew on Kim Philby (2022)


“How Spies Think” – 10 Lessons in Intelligence with Sir David Omand (2020)

*Beginner Resources*


What is Psychoanalysis? Institute of Psychoanalysis, YouTube (2011) [3 min. video]


Psychologists in the CIA, American Psychological Association (2002) [Short article]


7 Reasons to Study Psychology, University of Toronto (n.d.) [Short article]

DEEPER DIVE
Books


Freud and Beyond, S. A. Mitchell (Basic Books, 2016)


Narcissism and Politics: Dreams of Glory, J. M. Post (Cambridge University Press, 2014)


The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, E. Hoffer (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2010) 


Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, D. K. Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, 2004)


Leaders, Fools, and Impostors: Essays on the Psychology of Leadership, M. F. R. Kets de Vries (iUniverse, 2003) 

Primary Sources 


Charles de Gaulle to Pamela Digby Churchill (1942) 


Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat (1940)


Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1885)


Gettysburg Address (1863) 


House Divided Speech (1858)


Excerpt on Cleopatra from Plutarch's Life of Julius Caesar (ca. 2nd century AD)


Plutarch’s The Life of Alexander (ca. 2nd century AD) 

Appian’s The Civil Wars (ca. 2nd century AD) 


Virgil’s The Aeneid (19 B.C.E) 

*Wildcard Resource*


On Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1901)

In this simplified version of the father of psychoanalysis’ seminal book The Interpretation of Dreams, you can get a small taste for Freudian philosophy. Freud believed that dreams were a reflection of the subconscious mind and that studying a person’s dreams can elucidate their inner wants and needs. What are your dreams telling you? 


Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Summary
Dr. Ursula Wilder (LinkedIn) joins Andrew (X; LinkedIn) to discuss the intersections between psychology and intelligence. Ursula is a clinical psychologist with over two decades of experience working at the Central Intelligence Agency. 

What You’ll Learn
Intelligence

How psychology can be useful to national security

Historical examples of leadership analysis 

Leadership personality assessments & the Cuban Missile Crisis

Psychoanalytic theory and espionage 

Reflections

Human nature throughout history

History repeating itself 

And much, much more …

Quotes of the Week
“Together, these documents are quite powerful. The psych assessments are very, very carefully, tightly held and are classified at a high level. Every intelligence officer has this fantasy about seeing the file that's kept on them by the opponents.”

Resources 
SURFACE SKIM
*SpyCasts*


Agent of Betrayal, FBI Spy Robert Hanssen with CBS’ Major Garrett and Friends (2023)


The North Korean Defector with Former DPRK Agent Kim, Hyun Woo (2023)


SPY@20 – “The Spy of the Century” with Curators Alexis and Andrew on Kim Philby (2022)


“How Spies Think” – 10 Lessons in Intelligence with Sir David Omand (2020)

*Beginner Resources*


What is Psychoanalysis? Institute of Psychoanalysis, YouTube (2011) [3 min. video]


Psychologists in the CIA, American Psychological Association (2002) [Short article]


7 Reasons to Study Psychology, University of Toronto (n.d.) [Short article]

DEEPER DIVE
Books


Freud and Beyond, S. A. Mitchell (Basic Books, 2016)


Narcissism and Politics: Dreams of Glory, J. M. Post (Cambridge University Press, 2014)


The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, E. Hoffer (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2010) 


Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, D. K. Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, 2004)


Leaders, Fools, and Impostors: Essays on the Psychology of Leadership, M. F. R. Kets de Vries (iUniverse, 2003) 

Primary Sources 


Charles de Gaulle to Pamela Digby Churchill (1942) 


Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat (1940)


Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1885)


Gettysburg Address (1863) 


House Divided Speech (1858)


Excerpt on Cleopatra from Plutarch's Life of Julius Caesar (ca. 2nd century AD)


Plutarch’s The Life of Alexander (ca. 2nd century AD) 

Appian’s The Civil Wars (ca. 2nd century AD) 


Virgil’s The Aeneid (19 B.C.E) 

*Wildcard Resource*


On Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1901)

In this simplified version of the father of psychoanalysis’ seminal book The Interpretation of Dreams, you can get a small taste for Freudian philosophy. Freud believed that dreams were a reflection of the subconscious mind and that studying a person’s dreams can elucidate their inner wants and needs. What are your dreams telling you? 


Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1 hr 13 min

Top Podcasts In History

The Rest Is History
Goalhanger Podcasts
Fall of Civilizations Podcast
Paul Cooper
Dan Snow's History Hit
History Hit
Irish History Podcast
Fin Dwyer
Short History Of...
NOISER
Real Dictators
NOISER

More by International Spy Museum